Invitation to the online survey of participation initiatives – Information Sheet

Hub na nÓg is the national centre of excellence to support Government Departments, State agencies and nongovernment organisations to give children and young people a voice in decision-making on issues that affect their lives


Since the publication of the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in

Decision Making (2015-2020), there has been a growing demand from policy makers, service providers and other decision-makers for evidence and examples of good practice in giving children and young people a meaningful voice in decision-making. In response to this demand, The Department of  Children, Equality, Disability,   Integration and  Youth (DCEDIY) and Hub na nÓg commissioned Insights Health and Social Research to bring together the national and international evidence on methods for effectively involving children and young people in decision-making.

The project has three inter-related stages.


We have now commenced Stage 2 of this project and are inviting organisations / individuals to participate in the online survey. In the sections below we provide  answers to some questions you may have about the survey such as  the types of initiatives we are looking for, who should complete the survey, how the findings will be shared,  and how the information you provide will be managed etc.


Types of participation initiatives

The survey has been designed to identify examples of initiatives that have given due weight to the views of children and young people.  We are looking for examples of initiatives or practice with children or  young people in different settings such as  early years services, education settings, youth services, youth justice services, health services, social services, sports clubs, arts projects, creative and play, recreation and leisure  facilities etc. We are interested in hearing about examples of participation activities/practice undertaken as part of:

  • planning: formal consultations undertaken to involve children and young people as part of developing policies, plans, services, governance, research and legislation at national, local or organisational levels
  • evaluation: consultations undertaken as part of formal self-evaluation, feedback or external evaluation of policies, plans, services, governance, research and legislation. This also includes examples of feedback and complaints.
  • informal ‘everyday’ work: making sure that children and young people have a voice in decision making in everyday situations and activities such as classrooms, early years’ settings, child care settings,  youth clubs and projects, clubs, arts and creative activities and other everyday spaces.  This can be at a group or individual level.

We are particularly interested in hearing about:

(a) innovative and creative approaches to involving children and young people in decision making

(b) effective feedback/complaints mechanisms

(c)  online consultations


Why have I been invited to take part in this survey?

This survey is being circulated to organisations/individuals involved in the planning or delivery of services that affect the lives of children and young people (i.e. early years, education, health, youthwork, arts and culture, environmental planning etc).


Who should take part?

As the aim of the survey is to scope of the breadth of child and youth participation initiatives across Ireland, initial invitations are being sent to a cross-section of statutory and non-statutory organisations.   We are asking these contacts to cascade this request to organisations working with children and young people (e.g. social work, education, arts, health, youth work, criminal justice, and environmental planning etc).


Who should complete the questionnaire?

We are asking for the person who was responsible for designing and implementing the initiative/practice to complete the survey.  Completion of the questionnaire should take between 15-30 minutes to complete.


What are the benefits of participating in this survey?

The findings will help to inform future policy and practice. The survey will also provide the opportunity to share your learning and to showcase any innovative and promising practices employed by your organisation to engage with children and young people in meaningful decision-making.


How will you protect my privacy?

We will seek your permission to share (a) examples of initiatives described in this survey, and/or (b) the contact details for further information on the initiative. We will also ask if you would like your initiative to be considered for longer case studies.  The procedures for handling, processing, storing, and destroying any data gathered in this study are compliant with the Data Protection Legislation/GDPR.


 We do ask for or require any personal details or identifying information on the children/young people involved in the participation initiative.


How will the findings be used?

The project findings will enable Hub na nÓg to develop guidance, training, support and advice to support government departments, state agencies and the non-government sector in delivering commitments under the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making (2015-2020). It will also assist the Hub to draw on national and international best practice in promoting good practice in child and youth participation practice in decision-making.


How will the findings be shared?

The project findings will be published and available to the public on the Hub na nÓg website.  Selected case studies will also be showcased on the Hub na nÓg website. Both the report and the featured case studies will be an important resource for individuals and organisations who have an interest in child and youth participation. Findings from the review may also be published in journal articles and presented at conferences and seminars.


What does the survey ask?

Section 1:  Asks about the organisation and the person completing the survey. This includes the role of the organisation (e.g. policy development, service delivery etc),  the specific function of the organisation (e.g. health, education, social work,  youth work, community development, arts and community etc), and role of individual completing the survey.

Section 2: Focuses on the participation initiative(s).  We ask for no more than two examples of work undertaken in the past five years.  This section asks about:

  • the focus of and the reason for the participation initiative (i.e. for planning, as part of evaluation, or Informal ‘everyday’ approaches to involving children and young people in decision making)
  • the setting of the participation initiative (e.g. early years, education, training, youth work, social work, arts and culture etc)
  • who was involved e.g. the age group, specific group membership (e.g. primary school pupils, young people in learning disability, children and young people in care, homeless young people, traveller community, LGBTI+ etc.)
  • who facilitated the initiative/practice
  • duration/frequency of the consultation
    • one off event – i.e. to inform specific decision-making
    • regular event – i.e. embedded within organisation practice


 Section 3:  Asks some a series of questions about the approach used to capture the different elements of the participation initiative/practice.

  • Space: Opportunities for children and young people to express a view (i.e. participative spaces and approaches used to make them feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves, ensuring the process inclusive etc.)
  • Voice: Children and young people were facilitated to express their views (e.g. methods used to get children and young people’s views, opportunities for children and young people to raise topics that matter to them, etc.)
  • Audience: Children and young people’s views were listened to (i.e. how you showed you were committed to hearing their views, how the right decision makers were involved, etc.)
  • Influence: Children and young people’s views were acted upon (i.e. how children and young people were informed about the scope they had to influence decision-making, how you gave them feedback on how their views were used in decisions taken, )


Section 4: The final section asks what has helped or hindered the delivery of the participation initiatives / practice.

How to complete the survey

To complete the questionnaire  please click here or use the  link  below

We ask you to complete the survey by Friday 18th December 2020


To capture a wide range of initiatives and practice, we would encourage you to share this invitation to other organisations involved in child and youth participation initiatives/practice.


Further  information

If you would like to find out more about the study (even if you decide not to take part), please contact or Anne O Donnell (Hub na nÓg) or Deirdre Fullerton (Insights Health and Social Research)

Anne O Donnell (Hub na nÓg) Deirdre Fullerton (Insights Health & Social Research)
  ( 0863837320  ( 0860461684
 E-mail  Anne O Donnell

  E-mail  Deirdre Fullerton